Both men were on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and the confrontation was almost immediate due to Woodward’s claim that an email he received from the White House amounted to a “threat.”
Woodward, a well respected journalist, has been in the news all week because of some of his reporting, where he blamed President Obama as the originator of the Sequester. The White House has been on the defensive since Woodward’s claim, leading to the confrontation between the two men on Friday.
“When the full e-mails came out, they were as cordial as can be,” Axelrod said to Woodward on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “His e-mail was cordial, and your response was cordial. So if you felt threatened, why didn’t you say to Gene, ‘Don’t threaten me?’”
“You are putting words in my mouth,” Woodward responding, adding he never said he felt “threatened.” “I said, ‘I don’t think this is the way to operate.’”
Axelrod retorted: “I’m not putting words in your mouth, Bob. It’s your newspaper that said you said you were threatened.”
A Washington Post story posted Thursday did originally say in the headline that Woodward claimed the White House “threatened” him. The headline has since been changed.
On Fox News on Thursday night, Woodward said, “The problem I have with the Gene Sperling email — and this comes after a shouting match, lot’s of people shout at me — is that goes into the coded, ‘you better watch out’.”
The duo later debated whether Obama “moved the goalposts” on sequestration by insisting tax revenues be part of the package to avert it.